The announcement that phase two of the Cross Island MRT Line is slated to open by 2032 is great news for all who will benefit from it (Cross Island Line phase 2 to open by 2032 with six MRT stations, Sept 21).
While the six MRT stations will be ready by 2032, I hope that priority can be given to completing and opening the three-station stretch between King Albert Park, an interchange with the Downtown Line (DTL), and Clementi, an interchange with the East-West Line (EWL).
Opening these stations earlier than 2032 would yield immediate benefits as connectivity between the DTL and EWL in the western part of Singapore would be improved tremendously.
Commuters now have to travel much farther to make the connection between the two existing lines.
Logistically speaking, the trains between Clementi and King Albert Park could be run on a shuttle basis with a stopover at Maju in both directions, much like those already running between Changi Airport and Tanah Merah stations with a stop at Expo.
For maintenance purposes and for start and end of day services, the trains running this shuttle service could always be connected to either the EWL at Clementi or the DTL at King Albert Park and return to the main train bases and workshops of either line without having additional facilities constructed for the interim run.
By the time the entire phase two of the Cross Island Line is ready, the shuttle could then be seamlessly withdrawn and be incorporated into the main running schedule without disruptions.